The Rays called up infielder Mike Brosseau to add a versatile player to their shorthanded bench on Tuesday as they opened a two-game series at Washington under National League rules.
Brosseau had been with the Rays since the start of the season, but was sent to Triple-A Durham in early June as a result of his lack of performance and limited playing time.
Though his stay is expected to be short, with infielder Taylor Walls slated to come off the injured list Saturday, Brosseau is positioned to lend a hand during the two games with no DH in adding a fourth player to the bench.
Having a someone who not only can pinch-hit but play anywhere in the infield and the outfield corners is a big help, manager Kevin Cash said. Plus that there is “a good chance” the right-handed hitter could be in the lineup Wednesday against Nats lefty starter Jon Lester.
“The versatility is just as much (a help) as the bat,” Cash said before Tuesday’s game. “I know he hasn’t played outfield this year, but we’d be totally comfortable with him going out there for a couple innings. He can play all over the infield.
“With no DH there’s more opportunities in big moments where we’re going to look to avoid our pitcher hitting too many times. Generally, they don’t have too much success so we’ll try to avoid it.”
Brosseau hit .184 with four homers, 16 RBIs, a .595 OPS and 48 strikeouts in 139 plate appearances over 47 games before being sent down June 14. He was called right back up after Tyler Glasnow was hurt that night in Chicago and went 1-for-7 in three games before being sent down again June 18.
In four games with Durham, Brosseau hit .286 (4-for-14) with three walks.
Brosseau, who worked his way to the majors as a non-drafted free agent, is well-liked by many teammates for his outgoing and upbeat personality.
“I love Bross the boss,” centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier said. “He was on the plane (to Washington Monday) night and once again just bringing a smile to everyone’s faces. Him going around the clubhouse (Tuesday), same thing.
“You need those guys throughout the course of a season. He’s been that guy since Day 1. I’m always a huge fan of him, no matter what. ... Hopefully he takes advantage of some more opportunities thrown his way. He’s just such an easy guy to root for. We’re happy to have him back.”
⋅ Reliever Chaz Roe’s season is over as he will have surgery Wednesday on the right shoulder that has sidelined him since early April.
⋅ Rays players and coaches wore Lightning caps in the clubhouse and for practice to show their support.
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